Drones and Sustainability: Protecting The Environment

By James Rennie of AUAV

Introduction to Drones and Sustainability

What’s the first thing comes into your mind when you hear the word drone? Maybe aerial photography or a recreational device! However, drone technology is emerging as an important tool of environmental sustainability in many other fields such as wildlife tracking, rescue operation, and asset inspection.

The reason for the popularity of drones is they are economical, user-friendly, and can be easily equipped with sensors and cameras. This article brings you information about 5 unique ways drones are saving our planet.

5 Drone Applications Promoting Environmental Sustainability

Thanks to the ever-developing drone technology, the following 5 crucial tasks can be done more efficiently and effectively while generating minimum carbon footprints:-

  1. Monitoring Giant Energy Structures (Such as Oil Pipeline, Solar Panel, & Wind Turbines)

The giant energy structures need more effort in regular inspection and monitoring than building them, as any technical glitch or breakdown can be a disaster. Imagine the kind of enormous workforce and hard work is required for the manual inspection of these assets. Not to forget the risk taken by the person inspecting.

Drone inspection is a big sigh of relief for the maintenance team of these structures. Its smooth mechanism requires limited human resources time and no fuel cost. Take the example of solar panel inspection using drones. It can just fly right up the panels and provide a close and precise view to the observer.

  1. Wildlife Tracking & Conservation

A drone provides a bird’s eye view, which is excellent for forest surveillance. The forest and its habitats can be monitored without a person intruding in their space. The spices on the verge of extinction can also be preserved without disturbing them through drone wildlife tracking. There are sensitive forests that need a high level of security from trespassers and poachers. In such places, surveillance through drones is more efficient than manual inspection.

And the best advantage of wildlife tracking with drones is that it doesn’t put anyone’s life at risk when it comes to tracking dangerous wild animals.

Drones and Sustainability: a drone flying over a flowering field
Drones can support environmental sustainability by methods including agriculture
  1. Agricultural Fields and Crops Inspection

Not only for immense structures but a drone asset inspection is a perfect tool for farmers as well. They find it difficult to check what’s happening at the other side of their field, especially in bigger farms. There is always a chance of a wild intruder causing harm to the crop. With a drone, every corner of the field can be inspected while sitting in one place only.

Moreover, a drone can be used to spray fertilizers in the field. So there’s no need for pollution-causing heavy farm machinery that doesn’t deliver with the speed and efficiency of a drone.

  1. Replanting the Forests

Reforestation becomes the need of the hour whenever a giant fire or other natural disasters harm the forest. Some companies innovated the idea of using specialized drones to plant trees with the help of AI. As of now, a few drones can replant a wide-spread area faster than a big group of humans.

This initiative of planting forests with drones is looking to get more success in the future. With more forest fires taking place due to climate change, our planet will need faster replantation of forests to maintain the ecological balance.

  1. Prevention of Disasters

Disaster relief is a task that requires entry into inaccessible and far away areas. Sometimes, it’s beyond human capacity to reach such places. Drones can easily fly to these dangerous spaces to collect information and snaps of the current condition.

Customized drones can also create 2D maps and 3D terrain models of the place in distress. In this way, officials get valuable information on deploying the disaster relief team to save maximum lives and cause minimum casualties.

To Summarize

Since the dangers of climate change are looming over our heads, every individual and business house is working towards minimizing their carbon blueprints. In such times drones can contribute immensely towards environmental sustainability in the fields of asset inspection, agriculture, wildlife tracking, disaster management, etc.

More professionals and environmentalists should come forward to increase awareness regarding these environment-friendly applications of drones.

Author Bio:

man smiling

Prior to starting Australian UAV (AUAV) James Rennie had a long career in natural resource management. In 2012 he identified a convergence of a previous hobby, radio controlled planes, and his passion for mapping data. Recognising this opportunity he established AUAV in early 2013, one of the first drone companies in Australia. With thousands of commercial flights completed, including in Antarctica, Armenia and throughout Australia, he manages the strategy and growth of the company.